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Imagination Library Gains $5 Million in State Funds

Governor Mike DeWine signed a new State of Ohio budget into law last week, which includes funds to support The Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

The budget grants $5 million to support Imagination Library across the state. The funds will cover a portion of the cost of books and mailing. This support helps pave the path for every child under the age of five in Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio to receive a brand new, age-appropriate book in the mail every month. The program is free for families.

Bob Paponetti, CEO and President of The Literacy Cooperative, spoke with WTAM’s Mike Snyder and Bill Wills Wednesday morning about this important step toward increasing early literacy and promoting a love of reading.

“It’s clear that this is changing what’s happening in the home,” Paponetti said. “Families are reading more together as a result of getting these books.

This is the first time Ohio’s Imagination Library program has had provisions in the state budget.

Listen to the full interview below and sign up for the program here.

May 26th, 2016 PechaKucha Event: An Evening of Learning About the Great Literacy Programs In and Around Cleveland

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On Thursday, May 26th, 2016, The Literacy Cooperative in collaboration with the Cleveland Bridge Builders, Class of 2016, coordinated a PechaKucha event. PechaKucha means chit chat in Japanese and is an event where presenters present 20 slides, each for 20 seconds, on a chosen topic.

The topic for our PechaKucha event was, “Helping to Improve Awareness and Literacy Education in Northeast Ohio.” There were seven presenters from eight different organizations around Cleveland who presented on their literacy based programs that combine literature, learning, and literacy with other fun activities. Presenters included: our Executive Director Bob Paponetti, who spoke about the history of The Literacy Cooperative and the work that we do, as well as, Elizabeth Geisse from America SCORES Cleveland, Pam Jankowski with Cuyahoga County Library in partnership with Parma City School District, Debi Abela from University Circle Incorporated, Mahogani Graves with Reach Out and Read/ Ready to Learn at MetroHealth, Daniel Hahn from Playhouse Square and Judi Kovach with Kids Book Bank.

The event was a great way to inform the community about programs and initiatives that incorporate literacy in unique ways that help both children and their families learn. The PechaKucha format provided a way to explore a number of different programs in one evening, giving the community a broad look at all the great work that is being done around our city to advance literacy.

Missed the event and want to experience it? Take a look at our Storify for a recap of the event with pictures and tweets.

Or click on the video below to watch the full event.

 

Want to learn more about the programs and organizations that participated? Check out some of our guest posts here on our blog. Or follow each of the organizations on their social media pages:

 

University Circle- Twitter and Facebook

America SCORES Cleveland- Twitter and Facebook

Reach Out and Read/ Ready to Learn at MetroHealth – Twitter and Facebook

Playhouse Square – Twitter and Facebook

Cuyahoga County Public Library – Twitter and Facebook 

Kids Book Bank – Twitter and Facebook

Parma City School District – Twitter and Facebook

The Literacy Cooperative – Twitter and Facebook 

 

 

 

 

 

Reach Out & Read/Ready to Learn Program At MetroHealth Encourages Early Reading Habits

2016 marks The Literacy Cooperative’s 10 year anniversary! To celebrate this milestone, we partnered with the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2016 to showcase community organizations across Greater Cleveland that have incorporated literacy-based programs into their scope of service during the past 10 years.  We asked them to write a post highlighting their journey, featuring their accomplishments, achievements and how they have helped the community learn and grow over the last ten years. We will be featuring the posts throughout the next few months.

This week’s guest post comes from MetroHealth Broadway Health Center written by Mahogani Graves; Site Coordinator. 

Metro Heatlh Reach out and read - child readingDo you love reading? Do you love children? Well, you’ll love the Reach Out & Read/ Ready to Learn Program here at the MetroHealth Broadway Center! Reach Out & Read/Ready to Learn was established in September 2014. Reach Out & Read/Ready to Learn encourages early reading habits with the parents and children through prescribing books to the families’ through child wellness visits. We have changed our waiting room into a “learning room”!

Metro Health -reach out and read (waiting room)While Reach Out & Read is a national program, our MetroHealth program at Broadway is unique because of our partnership with WVIZ ideastreams Ready to Learn program. Our volunteers engage with both the parents and children in the waiting room by using books, PBS Kids learning apps on iPads, and the PBS Kids TV Station.
Want to know why our program is so awesome? Within our first year, our program prescribed over 3,065 books during 3,000 wellness child visits.  We have had 38 volunteers, including 5 interns complete 1,452 hours interacting with patients in the waiting area. In addition to that, we’ve interacted with 1,824 children and their families alone. It’s so important to have dedicated people who care about our children and want to give back! We’re so proud to have had the opportunity to engage various people to invest time in their community.

Broadway MetroHealth has become a hub in this community. We see thousands of people each and every week. The opportunity that we have to make an impact in families’ lives is truly precious! We have been able to refer many families to neighborhood preschools to make sure that our young ones have a head-start to learning. Other resources related to afterschool activities, summer learning, housing and much more are all added components that we are Metro Health Reach out and Read- Booksable to provide our families day in and day out. The facts are, the challenges that our families face are multifaceted and if we can help to alleviate any issue we are doing a service to the community. That’s why our relationships with other community organizations are so important and is the reason why we have been able to really make an impact.

Learn more about MetroHealth Broadway Health Clinic on their website: http://www.metrohealth.org/broadway

Also be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Ready Readers Plus Combats Literacy and Math Obstacles for Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland Members

2016 marks The Literacy Cooperative’s 10 year anniversary! To celebrate this milestone, we partnered with the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2016 to showcase community organizations across Greater Cleveland that have incorporated literacy-based programs into their scope of service during the past 10 years.  We asked them to write a post highlighting their journey, featuring their accomplishments, achievements and how they have helped the community learn and grow over the last ten years. We will be featuring the posts throughout the next few months. 

Our second guest post comes from The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, written by Jazmine Walker, Academic Success Manager.

Boys and Girls ClubThe Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland have made many positive strides over the last 10 years. One of which includes adding Ready Readers Plus onto our list of programs!

Ready Readers Plus is an early literacy program aimed at improving the math and reading skills for members’ ages 6 to 9 years old through a series of fun, educational and familial opportunities.  It has been shown through low literacy scores in Cleveland that there is a deficit in the way our members are learning. More and more, we are encountering members that are consistently passing through grades but are not able to perform basic calculating functions. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland decided to combat these obstacles, so that our members will be able to keep a competitive edge in academia. This is done through program based on a curriculum outline that’s aligned with 5 common core standards, a family engagement component and incentives!

RRP instructors have made conscience decisions to be intentional while creating an environment that is conducive to productivity, fun and academia. Our Family Engagement component is also essential to the success of the program. Each site has one family night event per month. So far, 44% of parents reported a greater confidence in their child’s advancement in school as a result of attending the RRP program at least 3 times per week. Parent involvement at the Walton Club has increased substantially during the 2015-16 program year. The teachers and administrators at the Boys and Girls Club (2)school have provided BGCC with the NWEA standardized testing scores for the 2nd grade students (members and non-members), and are in the process of providing us with test scores for all grade levels. This is a big victory for our organization as it can be very challenging to obtain grade information from our school sites. Having this information serves as a means for us to compare our member’s progress to non-members and based on the comparison we have done on the 2nd graders scores, the results show that Club members at Walton performed better on this exam than their non-attending peers!

We are excited to see what accomplishments our members will make this school year! We are anticipating that 50% of our members will increase their math and reading skills.

Ten years ago, there was no early literacy program comparable to RRP at BGCC. Members are now being exposed to a setting that is educational, yet exhilarating!

To learn more about The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland be sure to check out their website: http://www.clevekids.org/ .

Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Welcome!

sun_swooshHave you ever thought about how much you read on a daily basis? It is a skill many of us who are literate take for granted every day. Part of your morning routine may be taking medications. You read the label to know how much to take, when and with what foods. You read through a recipe in order to make your family a delicious and nutritious meal. On your way to work you read road signs in order to find your way quickly and efficiently. If you don’t drive you read the bus schedule so that you can make it to work on time.

Now imagine that you can’t read. You need a job but you can’t read the application.  You have three different medications to take but you can’t read the names, dates or times and cannot take them when you need to.  You can’t read the nutritional information on a package and thus can’t make the right dietary decisions for you and your family. Can you now see how difficult life would be if you could not read?

The Literacy Cooperative understands how important and essential being able to read and write is for everyday life. In Cleveland 66% of adult residents are low literate. In some Cleveland neighborhoods (Kinsman and Hough) the illiteracy rate is as high as 95%. These are statistics that beg for change and The Literacy Cooperative is working to enact that change.

This year The Literacy Cooperative turns ten. Twelve years ago, The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation gathered together a broad spectrum of the community to seek creative and new solutions of low literacy and its implications. Over the course of 14 months the effort brought together more than 300 individuals representing 250 organizations.  The group came to a consensus on two key recommendations: develop an action plan and create a collaborative organization to carry out that plan.  This outcome showed that there were many service providers working with a number of individuals but there was no organization that was focused on the systematic changes that were are needed to advance literacy. The collaborative organization created to focus on these systematic changes became The Literacy Cooperative in 2006.

For the past 10 years The Literacy Cooperative has been working hard to advance literacy by raising awareness of the issue, promoting effective public advocacy and fostering a delivery system with maximum impact on the region. The three main focus areas The Literacy Cooperative works around are Early Literacy, Adult Literacy and Career Pathways, and Parent Engagement.

The Literacy Cooperative is an intermediary nonprofit, meaning we work with other organizations in order to direct systemic change. Our vision is to ensure that all children and adults in Greater Cleveland will reach their highest literacy potential for employment, self-sufficiency and life-long learning.  The Literacy Cooperative is working with a number of programs and pilots; for more information check out the rest of our website or come back here for further blog posts about these projects.

This is just a very quick and concise introduction into who we are as an organization. We are involved in many different aspects of literacy and are working on a number of initiatives. This blog will be one of our ways to help keep the community informed and involved! For more posts about the number of organizations and programs we support as well reading recommendations from our staff and even guest posts, be sure to bookmark this page and check back for updates!

Be sure to check out our other Social Media pages on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and Linkedin to stay up-to-date on future blog posts as well as everything else we are working on.

We want to hear from you.  How would illiteracy affect your day to day life? And what are ways you are helping to fight illiteracy in our community?